Kirkus Reviews QR Code
BLEED by Laurie Faria Stolarz

BLEED

By Laurie Faria Stolarz

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2006
ISBN: 0-7868-3854-X
Publisher: Hyperion

Overlapping short stories about a group of related young people all take place one Saturday in August. It’s a good gimmick, but the precisely written narratives, which are mostly about loneliness, betrayal and heartbreak, are anything but gimmicky. What they are is sad, sad, sad, and since most of the kids that populate Stolarz’s desolate teenage landscape live in dysfunctional families and are odious themselves, readers have almost no one to care about. For example, Nicole has sex with her best friend’s boyfriend, while the so-called best friend is off meeting her romantic pen pal, a man who’s just been released from prison for murdering his girlfriend. Meanwhile, another friend, the emotionally and physically scarred Maria, touches herself in front of her mother’s boyfriend for pocket money, while poor overweight Sadie’s diet-obsessed mother pins a sign to her shirt that says, “Please Do Not Feed Sadie.” Although this collection ends on a note of hope, it is almost unbearably bleak. (Short stories. YA)